GREENVILLE (WNCT) – East Carolina scored nine runs in the sixth inning and cruised to an 11-4 American Athletic Conference series opening win over Memphis Friday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Pirates improve to 26-24 overall and 5-14 in league play, while the Tigers fall to 26-24 and 6-13.
Evan Kruczynski (3-2) notched his second win in conference play allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Davis Kirkpatrick gave up a run (earned) on two hits with one strikeout in two innings of relief work.
Drew Crosby (5-3) suffered the loss allowing seven runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 5.1 innings. The Tigers used four pitchers out of the bullpen getting outings from Takoda Metoxen (0.0 IP, 3 Rs), Taylor Bobo (0.2 IP, 1 H), Alex Smith (1.0 IP, 1 R) and Danny Denz (1.0 IP).
ECU pounded out 10 hits getting multiple base knocks from Brickhouse, Eric Tyler and Dwanya Williams-Sutton. Brickhouse hit a pair of home runs to lead the Pirates with nine on the season, while Tyler blasted a three-run homer in the sixth – the game-winner, which was his sixth of the year. Tyler drove in four of the Pirates 11 runs, while Brickhouse had a pair of RBI and scored three times. In all, seven of the Pirates starting nine had hits in the game.
Chris Carrier, Kyle O’Keefe and Trent Turner each had a pair of hits for the Tigers. Turner belted his fifth home run of the second in the sixth plating three runs. O’Keefe added an RBI single in the eighth that pushed across Turner.
How It Happened:
Tailing 3-1 going to the home half of the sixth, ECU plated a season-high nine runs on five hits to take a commanding 10-3 lead. Tyler hit a three-run homer, his sixth of the season, and extended his on-base streak to a career and AAA-best 36 games. Travis Watkins followed with a single up the middle and came around to score on Wes Phillips double down the left field line. A wild pitch moved Phillips to third and Brickhouse reached when he was hit by a pitch putting runners on the corners. Turner Brown’s sac bunt scored Phillips for a 7-3 advantage.
The inning continued when Kirk Morgan walked to load the bases, which was followed by TJ Riles’ bases loaded walk that pushed across Brickhouse. After the second pitching change of the stanza, Williams-Sutton walked scoring Brown. Tyler’s RBI bunt single and Watkins’ RBI base hit up the middle plated both Morgan and Riles to cap the frame.
Brickhouse hit his first home run of conference play sending a 1-1 offering from Crosby over the left field wall giving ECU a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Turner’s three-run blast in the fifth inning gave Memphis its first lead of the contest. Tyler Webb led off with a double down the left field line and Carrier followed taking first when he was hit by a Kruczynski pitch. After Brandon Grudzielanek’s sac bunt moved the runners up, Turner sent a first pitch offering over the left field wall for the three-run advantage.
Brickhouse capped the scoring for the Pirates with his second home run of the night, a solo shot to left field, for an 11-3 lead.
Memphis plated the final run of the evening in the eighth on O’Keefe’s second hit, an infield single to third scoring Turner for an 11-4 final.
ECU and Memphis will continue the three-game weekend series Saturday, May 13 with a 4 p.m. (ET) scheduled first start.